Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Stream: Soni-Ani: Super Sonico The Animation: First Impressions

This episode was not half as commercially pandering, as I expected to be the pacing of the first few minutes works and Sonico's slow realization that she's late for class and the mad dash to get to class felt innovative in that it's stretched out for minutes with her going through her morning routine before seeing the clock and doing a double take than scrambling to leave before running into locals who take time to comment on how pleasant she is. Even her professor says she'd be a model student if she wasn't late all the time. In short she's almost flawless except for the kind of cute Moe quirks such as klutz or chronically late. Nothing new or terribly exciting as far as characters go her band mates Suzu and Fuuri are basic archetypes Suzu being the bossy troll and Fuuri the "big eater" as well and while it may seem like I'm damning the series with faint praise. It's a very good example of the kind of goofy semi-plotless Slice of Life series while also having a narrative structure in that it's one day in the life of Super Sonico. I don't expect much Sonico's likeable and the music is passable pop rock when the band plays while animation is for the most part better than it should be for a series with this little going for it. Other than some poorly drawn cats and a horrendous CGI music number at the end that makes all the characters look like poorly rendered polygonal video game sprites. The backgrounds are done well with an effort on the falling cherry blossoms in particular looking well handled while secondary characters all look unique and different. Even the main "conflict" of the slimy Magazine editor trying to get Sonico in an ridiculously skimpy costume and her monster masked manager saving her from being further exploited is funny in that his mask is played off as it not being a mask but his face. It's an odd bit of surreal humor that makes the shameless Fan Service of the photo shoot a little more palatable and really other than that and some heavy "Male Gaze" camara angles and suggestive costuming it's pretty chaste and sweet. In short this is a trifle that is at least executed competently in some places and has a likeable heroine that doesn't come off as a complete "Mary Sue."
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